The Suits actor opens up about her character, Donna, and why she's a part of the Dove Self Esteem Project.
Since 2011 Sarah Rafferty has played the formidable, sharp and confident legal secretary Donna on Suits. It’s that confidence that Rafferty is keen on though, having also joined Dove’s Dove Self-Esteem Project, which is a resource for girls and young women to help address body and beauty confidence—or the lack thereof among many women. We caught up with Sarah in Toronto to chat Dove, Donna’s confidence and how we could all use a little help in the self-esteem department.
Can you tell me a bit about Dove’s Self-Esteem Project?
At the heart of the campaign is the Look How Far We’ve Come video. It highlights three Canadian girls and their journey, and really shows the difference we can make in young girls’ lives when we support them through programs that deal with self-esteem and navigating though beauty-related anxiety.
We take for granted that people in the spotlight have rock-solid confidence—can you talk about your own issues with self-esteem?
Like most human beings, I’ve been challenged with self-esteem issues—and being in the spotlight might compound those issues a bit more. I’ve been reading through the resources that Dove offers, through its Self-Esteem Project as a mother, but at the same time, I’ve really benefited myself. Dealing with self-esteem is a lifelong practice. It’s important to have as a goal to be able to accept ourselves and love ourselves—but it’s a practice and it takes work to get there. We live in a compare and despair culture. So finding your uniqueness and feeling like an individual is a bit of a triumph.
The character you portray on Suits, Donna, is a very strong role model; can you talk a bit about her?
One of the things I love about Donna’s confidence is that it’s directly related to her ability. She knows that she has a superpower, that she’s indispensible. She has a special gift for understanding people and that is what really holds the firm together. I think knowing what she’s good at is the key to her self-confidence.
How does Donna’s personal style relate to that?
I love how feminine her clothes are. She finds power in being feminine. She’s not wearing a lot of suits, she’s wearing dresses and I think she really feels confident in her power as a woman. The key to those clothes is having an amazing tailor. Who really fits into something off-the-rack? We have incredible tailors on set, and the fit is the key.
What has it been like filming in Canada?
I love Canada. Canada has been a really special home for us. The country celebrates its natural beauty and splendor. My experience of Canadians has been that everybody is really green, in touch with conservation and doing their part. I love the bike lane, I love the farm-to-table food culture. All of that is really wonderful.